Where is my strong daughter

By
June 15th 2004 a strong a woman filled with heart and plenty of will, not any mother but my mother died.
At 9 o’clock I am sitting in the kitchen, and I see my grandfather in the backyard with my father and they are shedding tears like a waterfall. I knew it was coming. My father never cries and to see my grandfather cry was even rarer. So when my grandmother and grandfather showed up my brother and I got dragged into the living room. I sat with my grandmother in the love seat while my brother stood by the TV with my dad. My father gave us the news that I knew was already coming. As the words “she was brain dead” and “they couldn’t do anything more” came out of his mouth it felt like a two ton rock landed on my chest. Everyone that was sitting in the living room at the time was just pouring their eyes out, and I was in complete and total shock. No tears fell from my face, I didn’t even flinch; I felt nowhere near human. Anyone normal would be flipped completely out of their skin. But me, I shed nothing.

The last time I saw my mom she was in Eastern Maine in Bangor, lying unconscious on the bed. Her head was half shaved and there were three or four tubes coming in and out of her head .Beeping sounds in the background told me how slowly her heart was working. They told me that she could hear me, but I didn’t believe it, she knew what I was thinking, so there was no need to say it aloud. When you get an image like that (especially of your mother) it’s something you will never forget. So when I didn’t start crying, it wasn’t a shocker.

As the days went by, we received plenty of cards, money, food everything and anything. The words “I’m here for you if you need me” and “I’m so sorry” came up ever second of every day. I wanted to rip out my ears and whatever makes me hear out of my head. All I wanted was my mom back, and fighting at night to get to sleep but waking up in the morning forgetting she was dead was hell. Jumping out of bed yelling “Mom”! And having an empty feeling killed me. The smell from her room was torture; I would reach out and find nothing. I wanted my mom back, and that was what I told the people. All they had to say was “She’s gone and she’s not coming back”. That was the last thing I wanted to hear. I wanted to hear comfort and that everything was going to be ok. I wanted my mom back, I wanted to feel her warmth, hear her voice, I wanted it all back. I had so much rage, so much anger that I wanted to brutally hurt anyone who said she wasn’t coming back. And the doctors; couldn’t they have done something more, I know they can’t work miracles, but a lot of people have survived brain aneurisms! Why couldnt my mom be one of them. I wanted to hurt them all. I wanted them to hurt like I was hurting.

I dreaded the day of the funeral I didn’t want to go. I went the day before to the wake; I drove up to the wake with Debbie in her Subaru Outback. I fought getting out of the car, what kind of kid would actually want to go to there mother’s wake? I procrastinated outside, pacing back and forth, sitting outside of the door talking to good friends of my mother. I heard my father coming outside, and then he dragged me into the funeral home. He said I needed to be sociable, and to talk to the people inside. Like I would want to do that, my mom was dead, there is no rule book saying I have to be sociable. There’s no rule book saying I have to do anything. As I walked in the doors and went around the corner, I saw the casket, an open casket with my mom’s cold body lying in it. The pain was excruciating, I couldn’t move, I didn’t want my last thought, my last memory of my mom be her lying lifeless in a bed. So I turned away, and sat as far away as I could. Later on the preacher came up to me and asked me if I wanted to speak at the funeral the next day. I contemplated it, but I wouldn’t be able to bring myself to speak in front of all those people. My brother, on the other hand, was strong and brave and he stood up and said he would. I only wished I could have been as strong as him.

The day of the funeral I forced myself out of bed and to the funeral. As much as I didn’t want to go, I knew I had to. I sat there and watched the preacher speak to the crowd, and I watched the tears grow as time went by. Then my brother came up and spoke, although he couldn’t make it through the whole thing. He did it ,and that’s all that matters. As they played the song ending the ceremony, all I could think of was, “My mom didn’t raise me to be a weak person; she brought me up to be a strong, independent person. Someone who stands up for what they believe in, never back down. She taught me responsibility. My mother worked three jobs; she was single and had two kids. She knew how to live her life right, and she wanted to give me and my brother a great opportunity to live our life right.” I knew if she was there that day she would say, “Where did my daughter go, the strong one”? There is a time to grow up, and my time was then.





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winkumpaw said...
Feb. 7, 2009 at 2:29 am
This took a lot of courage to write. Not everyone has such a defining moment in their life when they're asked to grow up. Just like that. Sometimes life sucks. The only thing you can do is pick yourself up and move on. That takes guts and inner strength. Her mother was right. She is a strong one. Hopefully by writing about these things you will gain more strength and some peace.
 
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